Top 15 Onscreen Witches

Back in May, I posted my Top 15 Onscreen Vampires, and the response I got was good enough that I decided to continue the “series”, this time ranking witches. I’ve picked characters from all over film and tv, both male and female. For the purposes of this article, I’ve described a witch as “a human who is born with or learns magic”. I’ve included some characters who aren’t necessarily called witches (or wizards) but who have magic, and I’ve left out those characters who, despite having magic, are not now, nor have they ever been, humans, like faeries, elves, angels, demons, etc. I’ve also chosen one single character per “world”, otherwise this list would end up being a mile long.

The witches aren’t in any order except alphabetical, and, as usual, spoiler alert!! And off we go! 🙂

 

Amanda Shelton, Simply Irresistible

Amanda

“I think I’ve loved you since that first day in the market.”
“You mean the day I had my hand up your pants? Men are so easy.”

Played by: Sarah Michelle Gellar
Born in: New York City, date unknown but the movie takes place in modern times.
Scary or sexy: Sexy
Good or evil: Good
Powers: With the help of a magical crab (yup, you read that right), Amanda becomes an extraordinary chef whose emotions go into her food, causing anything from laughter to tears to even floating on the ceiling.
Weaknesses: None but her own self-confidence (or lack thereof, rather).
Alive at the end?: Yes
If not, how did (s)he bite it, and by whom?: N/A

 

Bathsheba Sherman, The Conjuring

Bathsheeba

“She ran out to that tree by the dock, climbed up, proclaimed her love to Satan, cursed anyone who tried to take her land, and hung herself. Time of death was pronounced at 3:07 in the morning.”

Played by: Joseph Bishara
Born in: Rhode Island, 1812
Scary or sexy: Scary
Good or evil: Evil
Powers: Telekinesis and possession of others
Weaknesses: Holy objects, exorcism and love.
Alive at the end?: No
If not, how did (s)he bite it, and by whom?: Exorcised out of Carolyn by Ed.

 

Bavmorda, Willow

Bavmorda

“Why is it with my powers and the strength of my great army you cannot so much as find one… little… child?”

Played by: Jean Marsh
Born in: Nockmaar, date unknown
Scary or sexy: Scary (Jean Marsh is a handsome woman, but her character doesn’t stay attractive for very long).
Good or evil: Evil
Powers: All kinds of dark magic, from curses to transmogrification.
Weaknesses: Arrogance, white magic and lightning
Alive at the end?: No
If not, how did (s)he bite it, and by whom?: Willow tricks her into thinking he’s made little Elora disappear, and when she rushes towards him she knocks over all the components of her spell and is struck by lightning at the same time, sending her to the Netherworld she was planning on sending Elora to.

 

Gandalf, The Lord of the Rings trilogy / The Hobbit trilogy

Gandalf

“Never put it on, for then the agents of the Dark Lord will be drawn to its power. Always remember, Frodo, the Ring is trying to get back to its master. It wants to be found.”

Played by: Ian McKellan
Born in: I’m sure it’s mentioned somewhere when and where Gandalf was born, but in the interest of saving time, let’s just say he was born in Middle Earth, and leave it at that :-p
Scary or sexy: Neither, actually, but Sir Ian does cut a proud figure.
Good or evil: Good
Powers: Ability to conjure and control fire, control over water, spells and blessings, causing explosive blasts, conjure lightning, foresight abilities, some telepathic power, and the ability to communicate with animals.
Weaknesses: Trust in the wrong people, the Ring
Alive at the end?: Yes
If not, how did (s)he bite it, and by whom?: N/A

 

Hermione Granger (and pretty much everyone else in the series), Harry Potter octology
(*can I patent that word? I likes it! hehe)

Hermione

“No, Harry. Even in the wizarding world, hearing voices isn’t a good sign.”

Played by: Emma Watson
Born in: England, 1979
Scary or sexy: Sexy (once she came of age, naturally :-p )
Good or evil: Good
Powers: She can do almost anything by flicking her wand, brewing a potion, or hopping on a broomstick.
Weaknesses: Endless curiosity that could get her into trouble, habit of being a know-it-all, Ron Weasley.
Alive at the end?: Yes
If not, how did (s)he bite it, and by whom?: N/A

 

The Horned King, The Black Cauldron

Horned King

“Soon the Black Cauldron will be mine. Its evil power will course through my veins, and I shall make you Cauldron-born! Yes, yes. Oh, yes! Then you will worship me! Me! Oh, my soldiers. How long I have thirsted to be a god among mortal men.”

Played by: John Hurt
Born in: Prydain, date unknown
Scary or sexy: Scary
Good or evil: Evil
Powers: Necromancy, all manners of dark magic
Weaknesses: Love and sacrifice, the Black Cauldron
Alive at the end?: No
If not, how did (s)he bite it, and by whom?: When Gurgi sacrificed himself by jumping into the Cauldron, all of the Cauldron-born are sucked back into it, dragging the Horned King in with them.

 

Jareth, Labyrinth

Jareth

“I ask for so little. Just fear me, love me, do as I say and I will be your slave!”

Played by: David Bowie
Born in: Unknown
Scary or sexy: Sexy
Good or evil: Evil(ish)
Powers: Shape-shifting, slowing and speeding up time, master of illusions, some clairvoyance through his crystals, the ability to conjure things from nothing.
Weaknesses: Arrogance, Sarah
Alive at the end?: Yes
If not, how did (s)he bite it, and by whom?: N/A

 

Lamia, Stardust

Lamia

“You shall not see the star, touch it, smell or hear it. You will not perceive her even if she stands before you. Pray you never meet me again.”

Played by: Michelle Pfeiffer
Born in: Kingdom of Stormhold, date unknown but she and her sisters are described as ‘centuries old’.
Scary or sexy: Both
Good or evil: Evil
Powers: Pretty much anything, from transfiguration to conjuration and the animation of dead bodies.
Weaknesses: Love
Alive at the end?: No
If not, how did (s)he bite it, and by whom?: With Tristan in her arms, Yvaine lets her love for him shine, and her pure light disintegrates Lamia.

 

Melisandre, Game of Thrones

Melisandre

“Death is coming for everyone and everything. A darkness that will swallow the dawn.”

Played by: Carice van Houten
Born in: Asshai, year unknown
Scary or sexy: Sexy
Good or evil: I think the character was meant to be more ambiguous than straight good or evil, but mo matter what good comes from helping Stannis is deeply over-shadowed by the horrible things she does. In her case, the ends don’t justify the means, and burning folks alive is just plain evil.
Powers: Clairvoyance, dark magic, giving “birth” to shadow demons, immunity to (at least some) poisons.
Weaknesses: Arrogance, religious fanaticism
Alive at the end?: As of where I am in the show (end of season 3), yes. I’ve read all the books, but I won’t spoil it for those who haven’t read yet, or who are waiting after the show.
If not, how did (s)he bite it, and by whom?: N/A

 

Merlin, various films and tv shows

Merlin

“I’m gone, but then, I’m not gone. So if I do leave, you can never be sure that I am gone, can you?”

Played by: Various actors, including Karl Swenson, Sam Neill, Joseph Fiennes, and Colin Morgan
Born in: England, date unknown
Scary or sexy: He’s not scary, but usually he’s portrayed as an old man, so he’s not really sexy either.
Good or evil: Good
Powers: Various or none, depending which movie or show you’re watching, but they can range from everything from transforming himself into animals, to casting illusions, and much more.
Weaknesses: Again depends on the film, but he’s often shown as having had trusted the wrong people, and is betrayed.
Alive at the end?: In everything I’ve seen him in, yes.
If not, how did (s)he bite it, and by whom?: N/A

 

Winifred Sanderson (and her sisters), Hocus Pocus

Sanderson sisters

“My ungodly book speaks to you. On All Hallow’s Eve, when the moon is round, a virgin will summon us from under the ground. We shall be back, and the lives of all the children of Salem will be mine!”

Played by: Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy
Born in: Salem. They were executed in 1693, but it’s unclear how long they’d been alive before then. I’m assuming a lot.
Scary or sexy: Neither. They’re pretty funny-looking, actually.
Good or evil: Evil
Powers: Various dark magic spells, including transforming children into animals, cursing hundreds of people at once, and sucking out the life-force of children to keep their youth.
Weaknesses: Hanging, fire, holy ground
Alive at the end?: No
If not, how did (s)he bite it, and by whom?: While trying to suck out Max’s essence, the witches accidentally end up on hallowed ground, and the first rays of dawn’s light disintegrates them.

 

Sally and Gillian Owens, Practical Magic

Sally & Gillian

“Witch! Witch! You’re a bitch! Witch! Witch! You’re a bitch!”
“You’d think after three hundred years they’d come up with a better rhyme!”

Played by: Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman
Born in: The States (not sure which one), exact date unknown, but I imagine it was some time in the 70’s.
Scary or sexy: Sexy
Good or evil: Good
Powers: Love spells, healing spells, some clairvoyance, and many other spells.
Weaknesses: A long standing family curse that any man who loves an Owens woman will die young.
Alive at the end?: Yes
If not, how did (s)he bite it, and by whom?: N/A

 

Ursula, The Little Mermaid

Ursula

“Oh, no, no, no, no, no! I can’t stand it! It’s too easy! The child is in love with a human! And not just any human. A prince! [laughs] Her daddy’ll love that. King Triton’s headstrong, lovesick girl would make a charming addition to my little garden.

Played by: Pat Carroll
Born in: Atlantica, year unknown
Scary or sexy: Scary
Good or evil: Evil
Powers: Various dark spells, the ability to turn merfolk (including herself) into humans (or better looking merfolk), able to see whatever her familiars see, no matter the distance.
Weaknesses: None save arrogance, and, I guess, being impaled :-p
Alive at the end?: No
If not, how did (s)he bite it, and by whom?: After growing to an enormous size, Eric is able to steer the ship right towards her, and the broken mast goes right through her breast as she’s struck by lightning. She wraps her huge tentacles around the broken ship, and sinks to the ocean floor, dead.

 

The Warlock, Warlock and Warlock: The Armageddon

Warlock

“Of all the curiosities here I’ve seen, none have surprised me more than this.”

Played by: Julian Sands
Born in: Boston, year unknown (he was slated to be executed in 1691 when he escaped to the present time, but it’s unknown how old her really is).
Scary or sexy: Sexy
Good or evil: Evil
Powers: Dark curses, flight, jumping through time, and more.
Weaknesses: Nails pounded into his foot prints, salt
Alive at the end?: No
If not, how did (s)he bite it, and by whom?: Kassandra injects him full of salt water, and he bursts into flames. He is reborn in the sequel, but is vanquished again, this time being stabbed by a knife made from the same material as the Holy Grail.

 

Willow Rosenberg, Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Willow

“I’ll give Xander a call. What’s his number? Oh yeah, 1-800-I’m-Dating-A-Skanky-Ho.”
“Meow!”
“Really? Thanks! I’ve never gotten a ‘meow’ before.”

Played by: Alyson Hannigan
Born in: Sunnydale California, 1981
Scary or sexy: Sexy
Good or evil: Good (except for a handful of episodes in season 6)
Powers: Pretty much everything one can think of.
Weaknesses: Addiction to the magics, fear of going bad again, Tara
Alive at the end?: Yes
If not, how did (s)he bite it, and by whom?: N/A

 

And here, a few honourable mentions:

The Grand High Witch (The Witches)
Sarah and Nancy (The Craft)
Mombi (Return to Oz)
Lady van Tassell (Sleepy Hollow)
Aleesa (Silent Hill)
Claudia Hoffman (Snow White: A Tale of Terror)
Yzma (The Emperor’s New Groove)

And that’s my witchy list!! Which witch is your favourite? Let me know in the comments, and stay tuned for more! 🙂

M.

The Lovey-Dovey Twelve (aka, My Favourite Chick Flicks)

So I’d been thinking of doing a “best of 2013” kind of thing, but I honestly don’t think I’ve seen enough new stuff to merit a whole list. I’ve got a bad habit of letting my stuff to watch pile up, so I’m usually years behind. This year, for example, I’ve only seen 4 or 5 films in the cinema. I love going, but not all the films I want to see play in english here, and I refuse to see dubbed films. So, anyways, all that to say that my “best of 2013” list would be too short, so I decided to not make one, and just go on with my regular programming, hehe.

Chick flicks. They’re usually either really good, or really crappy. There doesn’t seem to be a middle ground with these films. A good one will make you feel all fuzzy and schmoopy, while a bad one will usually just make you roll your eyes, and occasionally wonder if the film makers really think their target audience is that stupid. I do love a good chick flick though, under that shell of horror lover, there’s a closet romantic. So I’ve put together a list of the 12 chick flicks that I love the most. I’ve put them in order, but honestly the “points” separating the films are few, so while they’re ordered 1 to 12, it would probably be closer to three 4-way ties, or something of the sort. I’ve also kept the list to “adult” chick flicks. Teen flicks like Clueless, Pretty in Pink or 10 Things I Hate About You would definitely fit into this list too, but I’ve left all the teen films out, so if it takes place in or around a high school, it’s not here. Maybe I’ll make another post sometime for the teen flicks. But until then, here are my dozen favourite chick flicks.

 

12 – While You Were Sleeping
(1995) Sandra Bullock, Bill Pullman, Peter Gallagher, Peter Boyle and Jack Warden

Image

Lucy is a lonely subway worker who admires a handsome regular traveller, Peter, from afar. One morning she sees him get mugged and pushed onto the tracks, unconscious. Without thinking, she jumps onto the tracks and pulls him to safety. At the hospital, a misunderstanding leads Peter’s family to think that Lucy is not only the woman who saved his life, but his fiancĂ©e as well. Taken in by the family, Lucy goes along with the charade because she’s tired of being so lonely. But things get complicated when she starts to fall for Peter’s handsome brother, Jack, and Peter himself wakes up. This film is just so sweet, you can’t help but love it. The characters are all so real, and you can really feel poor Lucy’s plight. It’s not anything really that special, but it somehow just sticks with you in the long run, and it’s been a favourite of mine since I first saw it.

 

11 – Center Stage
(2000) Amanda Schull, Zoe Saldana, Ethan Stiefel, Susan May Pratt, Sascha Radetsky and Peter Gallagher

Image

I love dancing films. Even the crappy ones I tend to enjoy more than I should. But it’s even better when the whole movie is awesome as well, and not just cool for the dance scenes, like so many of them are. Center Stage is dancing film at it’s very best. Jody is a young dancer whose dream is to be accepted to the American Ballet Academy, and then be offered a position dancing for the company. The first part of her dream comes true, and she goes hard to work trying to please her teachers, and falls hard for the handsome new choreographer. She strives to become the best dancer she can, despite her “imperfect” feet, and she makes friendships that will last a lifetime. I love how real the characters are in this film. So many chick flicks have such totally implausible scenarios (but we love them anyways, don’t we ladies?), but this one is completely believable. And the dancing, of course, is stunning. They hired actual ballet dancers, so the dancing is all real and seamless, not chopped up and edited to look like it’s all the same person doing the dancing (but you can always tell it’s not). Not on this list, but still very much worth your time, is the sequel: Center Stage, Turn It Up.

 

10 – The Truth About Cats & Dogs
(1996) Janeane Garofalo, Uma Thurman, Ben Chaplin, Jamie Foxx and Hank the Dog

Image

Abby and Noelle are best friends who live in the same building. Noelle is a beautiful model, but is rather dumb, and Abby, while not an obvious beauty, is brilliant, and has a radio talk show about animals called, you guessed it, The Truth About Cats & Dogs. She gets a caller one day asking for help getting a very upset, very large dog out of roller skates. After successful removal, the caller, Brian, asks if he could meet her to say thanks in person. She, being very insecure about her looks, goes ahead and gives her description… of Noelle. But when she sees him, she immediately falls for him, and spends most of her evenings on the phone with him. But when they meet in person, she sends Noelle in her place. I fear I’m not explaining this very well, and I think I’m making it sound more complicated than it is, but trust me, if you haven’t seen it and love chick flicks like I do, run out and get this one right away. It’s a definite winner, so sweet and romantic, and Ben Chaplin is a total hunnie, especially with that accent.

 

9 – Romeo + Juliet
(1996) Leonardo DiCaprio, Claire Danes, John Leguizamo, Harold Perrineau, Pete Postlethwaite and Paul Rudd

Image

Ah, Leo. I was 15 when this film came out, and, like all the other girls, I was gaga over Leo, and this movie just solidified his standing as “ultimate heartthrob” of the 90’s. The way the movie was made, it could have just been campy and ridiculous, but thankfully they hired actors who can actually act, and it made it the best version, in my opinion anyways, of Romeo and Juliet ever put on film. I’m sure I don’t need to go over the synopsis, even those who have never seen the films nor even read the play still know what it’s about. So, instead, just scroll up and gaze lovingly at Leo for a minute or two. It’ll make your day just a little brighter :-p

 

8 – Little Women
(1994) Winona Ryder, Susan Sarandon, Christian Bale, Trini Alvarado, Gabriel Byrne, Claire Danes, Kirsten Dunst and Samantha Mathis

Image

You would think something like this would be boring, because nothing really happens, but it’s not. It’s just, simply, life. Jo and her family (three sisters and their mother, father’s away at war) have fallen on some hard times. The story follows them as they grow, go to school, find work and fall in love. The movie looks gorgeous and is wonderfully acted, I especially love Gabriel Byrne, and we’re treated to a slightly geeky looking pre-fame Christian Bale. If you like sumptuous period pieces and don’t mind a slowly paced film, then this is for you. Get the kleenex out, though, this one’s a tear-jerker!

 

7 – Fried Green Tomatoes
(1991) Kathy Bates, Mary Stuart Masterson, Mary-Louise Parker, Jessica Tandy, Cicely Tyson and Stan Shaw

Image

Another simple story of a lifelong friendship between two women, the fiery and wild Idgie and the calmer and grounded Ruth. After loosing her brother (and Ruth’s fiancĂ©e), Idgie and Ruth’s bond becomes unbreakable, and the women open a cafĂ© together that soon becomes the heart of their small town. Things get rough when Ruth’s abusive ex-husband comes around looking for her and his son, but when times get tough is when you see that family means more than just blood. Kleenex will also be needed here, lots of it. Damn that duck story…

 

6 – Benny & Joon
(1993) Johnny Depp, Mary Stuart Masterson, Aidan Quinn, Julianne Moore, CCH Pounder and Oliver Platt

Image

Joon is a mentally ill young woman who lives with her over-protective older brother, Benny. Benny is advised by Joon’s doctor that she should be in a home for the mentally ill, but Benny refuses to send her away, preferring instead to get home care. Benny is at the end of his rope, however, after Joon drives away yet another caretaker, and he’s not sure what to do any more. That’s when Joon “wins” Sam, an eccentric young man, in a poker game. Sam comes to live with them and he assumes the role as Joon caretaker. At least, that’s how Benny sees it. For Sam and Joon, it’s an opportunity for love, an opportunity neither has had before. This film is so sweet and so quirky, it’s impossible not to love it. Sam and Joon have such chemistry onscreen, and all the acting is amazing, so much more than your typical chick flick. And, of course, Johnny Depp is a joy to watch, both for his stellar acting and his dreamy looks.

 

5 – Practical Magic
(1998) Sandra Bullock, Nicole Kidman, Stockard Channing, Dianne Wiest, Aidan Quinn and Goran Visnjic

Image

Sally and GIllian Owens are witches. Ask anyone in town, and they’ll tell you stories of the long line of Owens witches. After her husband dies, Sally goes back home to live with her two aunts with her two daughters, who she vows will never do magic. She’s convinced that her husband was killed by the “Owens curse”, and doesn’t want her children to share her fate. Gillian, in her travels, meets a heartthrob called Jimmy, who, as it turns out, is a serial killer. Sally races to her sister’s rescue, but is unable to get her away in time, and after much fuss, Jimmy ends up dead in their car. A handsome cop comes around, hunting for Jimmy, and Sally feels that old stirring of love in her heart again. This is such an amazing film, everything is perfect. I keep on meaning to read the book, but I always end up picking something else instead. But I hear it’s quite different from the movie, so maybe it’s best if I didn’t read it, since I adore the film so much.

 

4 – Moonstruck
(1987) Cher, Nicolas Cage, Olympia Dukakis, Vincent Gardenia, Danny Aiello and John Mahoney

Image

Loretta is a 38 year old widow who lives in Brooklyn with her parents, grandfather and a crap load of dogs. She’s been dating a man, Johnny, for several years, and accepts when he proposes marriage. Loretta doesn’t love him, but that’s a good thing, her mother assures her, because “when you love them, they drive you crazy, cause they know they can”. Johnny has to fly home to Italy to be with his dying mother, but says that once she’s dead he’ll come home to marry her, which should be no longer than a month. As he’s leaving he asks her to contact his younger brother, Ronnie, who he hasn’t seen in years, to invite him to the wedding.When Loretta goes to Ronnie, she finds a young, turbulent man whose hand was sliced off in an accident. Loretta finds herself drawn to this man, and, after a night of passion, they’re deeply in love. I absolutely love this film. Cher is wonderful (and disgustingly beautiful) as Loretta, and Nicolas Cage is, well, young, hehe. But what I especially love about the film (or love the film despite of, depending on how you see it) is that everything is just so… damn… dramatic! Lots of heavy sighs and raised arms, it may be a caricature of Italians, but it’s a darn entertaining one.

 

3 – Only You
(1994) Marisa Tomei, Robert Downey Jr, Bonnie Hunt, Joaquim de Almeida, Fisher Stevens and Billy Zane

Image

Stupidly romantic, this film is what solidified Robert Downey Jr as my favourite actor. As a teen, Faith and her friends play with a Ouija board. When asked who her soulmate was, the board told Faith it was someone named Damon Bradley. A few months later, a fortune teller tells her the same thing. Fast forward ten years, and Faith is a young teacher, engaged to be married to a podiatrist. A phone call is about to upset her whole life, though, as she writes down the name of the caller: Damon Bradley. She absolutely looses her shit (that’s the technical term) and decides to follow Damon to Venice, to see if he really is her soulmate. Films don’t get much more schmoopy than this, folks. This is the very definition of romantic. My heart flutters a little every time I see it.

 

2 – Ever After
(1998) Drew Barrymore, Anjelica Huston, Dougray Scott, Megan Dodds, Melanie Lynskey and Patrick Godfrey

Image

A retelling of the classic Cinderella story, perfectly done. Danielle is a hard working young woman whose stepmother, after her father dies, treats her like one of the servants instead of like her own daughters. Danielle accidentally meets the prince, Henry, while she’s attempting to free another servant from being shipped off to the Americas. Henry takes a fancy to her, believing her to be a courtesan, and starts to court her. Danielle, having felt the same attraction, keeps up the charade to be with him, but her scheming stepmother has other plans: she wants her own daughter, the beautiful but horrible Marguerite, to marry Henry, not Danielle. The Cinderella story has never had such a glorious treatment, not before nor since. If you haven’t seen it, I strongly recommend it.

 

1 – The Princess Bride
(1987) Cary Elwes, Mandy Patinkin, Robin Wright, Chris Sarandon, André the Giant, Christopher Guest, Wallace Shawn and Billy Crystal

Image

And, of course, the chick flick to beat all chick flicks is the fantastic The Princess Bride. The plot is a little twisty-turny, so I won’t go into it too much, but it’s wonderful. It’s got action, suspense, revenge and lots and lots of schmoop. Long story short, a man has to save his beloved from an evil prince who wants to use her to start a war. There’s lots more to it, but that’s the basic thing. Anyone who doesn’t like this film simply has no heart. That is all. Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die. Oh yeah.

 

And that rounds up my list. There are a bunch more awesome films that were thisclose to being on the list, but in the end these ones on the list were just a little better. But here, in no particular order, are the honourable mentions:
Dirty Dancing
Pretty Woman
Steel Magnolias
Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day
Some Like It Hot
Wimbledon
Josie and the Pussycats
Simply Irresistible
The Cutting Edge
Three to Tango
Splash
Blow Dry
Waitress
Miss Congeniality
Ghost
I realize there are more titles in the honourable mentions than in the actual list, but oh well. Just pretend that all these films are tied for 13th place, hehe.

So what do you think? Are your favourite chick flicks here? Did I forget something? Let me know in the comments, and stay tuned for more! 🙂

M.